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Darius of Parsa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 05:28
The Egyptian navy was one of the three best navies, according to the Persians. The Egyptian, Phoenician, and Ionian navies were considered top-notch.  The navy is what brought many  coastal cities on the Mediterranean and Aegean under Persian control. The Persian navy nearly brought mainland Greece to their knees. Not only were they good fighters, but they were also good doctors. Egyptian herbalists and doctors were brought along on military campaigns as well. 


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 06-Aug-2008 at 05:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 05:33
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

  Not only were they good fighters, but they were also good doctors. Egyptian herbalists and doctors were brought along on military campaigns as well. 


Well, at least I'm not completely ignorant of Egyptian military matters; I knew about the doctors.

What does it say about the European dark ages that people hundreds of years ago were better healers? LOL

Wasn't the typical kit for an Egyptian soldier something like Wicker Shield, spear and/or mace, and kilt?

I'm trying to remember--I seem to recall it being something like that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 05:39
Old Kingdom soldiers were equipped with a variety of weapons including knives/daggers, maces, spears, and bows. Leather shields were quite popular during the era. During the 19th dynasty the Egyptians had a combination of scale, leather, and cloth armour. Charioteers often wore scale armour. The Egyptians tended to take what other nations had. One example is the adoption of the composite bow when the Hyksos began to supply them in their armies. The navy became increasingly important during the Middle Kingdom. During the New Kingdom, Egypt had a strong enough military to defend itself against the sea-peoples and other tribes along their borders.

Kilts were popular among the region.

I read a good book about the 18th dynasty military but I forgot what it was called...


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 06-Aug-2008 at 05:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 06:32

Heres a good link on the logistics of ancient states.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote conon394 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 16:07

Quote canon394;

True logistics back then were simpler, but even then generally most armys were equipped in reletivly standard ways. The manner of supply of archers and slingshot men are different, the procedures for fabricating are completely different, for spears you need wood and tips of a different type than arrows. Unless the equipment is standadised its very unlikely they can sustain a campiagn for long. THough I'll accept that in many cases it was only for a few battles that an army was raised.

 

I’d say you are still vastly overstating the logistical issues involved. A slinger needs what a sling and either rocks or lead bullets. Casting lead is hardly difficult, I really doubt that any competent blacksmith otherwise attacked to an ancient army with the job or making repairing all types of weapons could not do it – frankly it was likely an apprentice’s job.

 

For spears or javelins of any type in say the Hellenistic world the preferred wood was ash or cornel so again are you really suggesting a wood worker not fabricate rods of different lengths and sizes of poles.

 

Overall big invasions in the Ancient world oven featured a fairly heterogonous mix of troops - take Alexander’s initial invasion force or the Athenian army sent to Syracuse.  Alexander’s army offers and even better point since even it’s most nominally standard units the Macedonian cavalry and infantry – used completely different arms at different times – javelins, lances, sarissa, spears etc…

 

Also one should not underestimate the simple fact that ‘living of the land’ in the ancient world could likely provide very many if not most of armies needs – not just food. By contrast one is probably not likely to find Main battle tank parts laying around in a farm….

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote C.C.Benjamin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 17:00
Good points, I imagine an army would have been able to comandeer any smithy to make necessary repairs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 17:47
Originally posted by C.C.Benjamin C.C.Benjamin wrote:

Good points, I imagine an army would have been able to comandeer any smithy to make necessary repairs.


No offense, but how many smithies--let alone smithies large enough to deal with the demands of an ARMY--do you think you'd find?

Smithies are generally in cities. You really don't want to have to lay siege to every town along the way just to get your chariot axles repaired and your weapons restocked. Or just to get food, especially if the enemy army is burning farm fields and fortifying towns.

Hence, supply lines.

Admittedly, armies were often rather heterogeneous, because you NEED more than just one weapon set and armor set to  defeat an opponent-you need a level of versatility. But at the same time, you want things as simple as possible while retaining that versatility, because while making a few spear shafts is not too hard, we're talking THOUSANDS. Supplying two dudes out for a walk through difficult terrain is easy. Supplying an ARMY with widely varying different kinds of equipment, each piece of which might take hours, days, or sometimes months to make is anything BUT easy.

Not trying to tear down your views here, but you need to understand how much of an ungodly nightmare supplying an army could be. There's nothing easy about it at all--hence the saying about experts studying logistics rather than tactics.





Edited by TheARRGH - 06-Aug-2008 at 17:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 18:05
Very true. Can you imagine supplying Xerxes' army?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 21:29
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

Very true. Can you imagine supplying Xerxes' army?


I can imagine gigantic supply trains made of hundreds of thousands combined with inefficiency, imprecision, bureaucracy, complexity, misunderstandings, and sad attempts to "live off the land," coupled with massive fleets (since water would have been the best way of resupplying, at least until Themistocles' "wall of wood" managed to stop total Persian naval supremacy).

However, I'm rather glad I wasn't there to participate.LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote conon394 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 22:30

Quote no offense, but how many smithies--let alone smithies large enough to deal with the demands of an ARMY--do you think you'd find?

Smithies are generally in cities. You really don't want to have to lay siege to every town along the way just to get your chariot axles repaired and your weapons restocked. Or just to get food, especially if the enemy army is burning farm fields and fortifying towns.

 

Have you ever been on a farm lots of tools needed there you know?  Some army needs certainly required specialist, but most I think did not.

 

The question is how many specialized weapons smiths would any army need vs. just competent smiths? Fabricating arrow heads and casting led balls is hardly complex metal work – we are not talking about making catapult bits or producing a sword of Toledo steel.

 

Again the how often did the enemy burn fields or drag every last thing into a city?

 

For example the Persians satraps explicitly rejected that advice when Alexander invaded…

 

Quote I can imagine gigantic supply trains made of hundreds of thousands combined with inefficiency, imprecision, bureaucracy, complexity, misunderstandings, and sad attempts to "live off the land," coupled with massive fleets (since water would have been the best way of resupplying, at least until Themistocles' "wall of wood" managed to stop total Persian naval supremacy).

 

The problem is we here none of that appears in the historical accounts; just that the Persians seem to have efficiently supplied their diverse army.



Edited by conon394 - 06-Aug-2008 at 22:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2008 at 23:33
Originally posted by conon394 conon394 wrote:

The problem is we here none of that appears in the historical accounts; just that the Persians seem to have efficiently supplied their diverse army.



Well, "efficiency" is a tricky term to use for such a huge undertaking.

"Successfully" might be a better descriptor.

About your point on specialists vs. general smiths; yes, it's true. casting lead balls and so forth is not too terribly hard.

Still, what it is is BIG. It's an ARMY'S lead balls. (no humor intended).

if you have six hundred slingers total, and in the previous battle each one used about ten sling bullets, congratulations. You are sticking around for quite a while while your smiths cast 6000 lead sling bullets.

You CAN pick up stones, but they have to be just the right kind of stones, so that the shots are more or less accurate and forceful; imagine searching all over for six thousand of the right size and shape of rock. And even if you could, you'd be a sitting duck while you're doing it.

Arrows are even harder. It's not JUST arrowheads; you have to strip the right kind of branch from the right kind of tree, trim it, attach the feathers (which is an entire profession; haven't you heard of fletching?), attach the head--which is harder to make than a sling bullet, and can be very oddly shaped based upon what the head is FOR, because there are different kinds of arrowheads--and then you have to go over it making sure there are no imperfections.

Now imagine doing that thousands of times. Supplying an army is really, REALLY hard.
Now add to that repairing any machinery, reshoeing horses, replacing/repairing bits, bridles, stirrups, barding, breastplates, mail, helmets, weapons, tools, utensils and everything else; PLUS supplying enough food, water, and possibly entertainment for thousands of individuals to travel across rough terrain under hostile fire on without falling down from fatigue, thirst, starvation, heatsroke, etc.


If that mental image doesn't seem difficult to you, get your glasses checked.


Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no longer call lord and god? "Thou shalt" is the name of the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, "I will." - Nietzsche

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Aug-2008 at 12:29
"My Army"

Era: Middle Ages

Year: 700 AD

Climate: all arround

Army: The Black Horde

Vague Army Composition:

60% Main Army
30% Tribal warriors
10% volenteers

Light Infantry: 12% of Total

Volunteers (mostly as meat shields)

The volunteers will be armed by the Horde they can choose between a short sword & wooden shield, spears or an one-handed axe & shield (these weapons are of lesser quality and easy to supply), but no armor. The volunteers are free to keep the weapons and armor of the men they have killed.

Scouts: The scouts aren’t a part of the actual fighting army but for Reconnaissance missions, ambushes & espionage, etc…

The scouts are armed with various daggers & blades for close combat purposes. They’re also armed with small light composed recurved bows. There armor consists of leather armor with steel plates for maximum mobility.

Note: scouts are only used for close range Reconnaissance or espionage in cities.

A scout unit consists of 7 scouts, 6 scouts and 1 captain scout



Heavy Infantry: 30% of Total

40% Local Tribal warriors

The Tribal warriors are minimally used in the battle it’s self due to loyalty issues. Their role in the battle is the pre-battle raids on the enemy. The Tribal’s are paid with Booty & can keep what the pillage in the Raids on villages. The local Tribesmen fight for ‘status’ smaller tribes who want to climb in the ‘food chain’

60% The Hordes infantry is divided in several sections by weight.
•     50% Swordsmen, spearmen, pole arms, etc… (lighter armored)
•     30% Two-handed axmen (medium armored)
•     10% ‘crushers’ super heavy armored, heavily armed with maces, war hammers, axes (all weapons witch use brute force to smash)
•     10% crossbowmen: initial infantry attack.
The ‘Crushers’ & axmen who are supported by swordsmen do Main assault. The spearmen, pole arms & crossbowmen do the defense of the flanks.

Light Cavalry: 23% of total

60% Mounted Archers armed with composite recurved bows & a huge supply of arrows, wooden shields to protect their backs & sabers. No armor.

30% light spear cavalry armed with spears (lances), bows, shields & sabers. Main role is to protect mounted archers. Leather armor

the light cavalary are composed of Tribal warriors who fight for booty

10% raiders: initial raids before the battle together with the tribal warriors. Long distance Reconnaissance. Some equipment as the light spear cavalry




Heavy Cavalry: 35% of Total army

80% Main army’s heavy cavalry
•     50% Lancers: Chain armor with metal plates, armed with lances & sabers. Initial heavy cavalry charge with lances.
•     25% ‘fauchards’ or other type of pole arm. Same armor as lancer. Armed with staff weapon & saber
•     25% Mace cavalry: same armor as the lancer only armed with multiple maces 2 handed & 1 handed.
20% tribal warriors

size & tactics change over periods and are classified

I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 00:06
Sounds fun...but it looks like you don't have a lot of siege-type soldiers here--cavalry and powerful infantry, but no sappers, engies, medics, etc. Preliminary raids would help you a lot, and if you can't achieve that crucial softening-up of the enemy beforehand, all they have to do is lock their gates and wait--and if the tribal warriors revolted...


Edited by TheARRGH - 08-Aug-2008 at 05:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 00:08
Originally posted by TheARRGH TheARRGH wrote:

Why Two-Handed axes?


They generally have more kinetic energy than single handed axes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 00:14
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:


They generally have more kinetic energy than single handed axes.


Which is what I remembered quickly after posting that, along with my love of two-handed axes, along with their general effectiveness as precursors to halberds.

I was sort of out-of-it: I was thinking two-BLADED axes. Which were not terribly practical on a mass scale.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 05:21
To TheARRGH:

     I am intrigued about how you would go about battle. Mind adding more to your first post? Including some overviews about your formations, tactics, and about your engineers (what exactly would you order them to do). 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 05:47
Certainly!

Leaving aside logistics and concentrating on pure tactics...

Assuming an open-field pitched battle, the shock troops would create wedged formations, consisting of alternating pikemen and halberdiers-halberdier, pike, then another halberdier, and so on.

They would, however, create a shield-wall first and foremost, while approaching the enemy line (to defend against projectile volleys), and only lower shields to free space to wield their weapons once they were close enough to engage quickly. at this point, the lines would separate slightly--halberdiers in front, with pikemen striking between them from a longer distance away. The instant their chief weapons became stuck or blunted, they would  engage with their short swords.

The light infantry would advance along with the shock troopers, but in the centers (longbowmen) and flanks(spear-throwers) of their "V" shaped formations, supporting rather than engaging directly in combat.

The longbowmen would fire in arced volleys over the heads of the shock troopers into the enemy, trying to hit the rear forces rather than striking directly at the front lines (since that would have the heaviest defense). The spearthrowers would take position on the flanks and hang back from the main lines, firing volleys of darts directly into enemy lines during the charge and engagement by the shock troopers. They would shore up holes in the line when needed, and watch over the flanks.

The light cavalry would try to destroy enemy heavy cavalry and harass the enemy with volleys of arrows from the flanks and rear, trying to encircle the enemy infantry.

The Special Infantry would function as scouts; engaging in pre-battle reconsaissance and destroying as many enemy recon teams as possible. During the battle, they would function as an elite guard unit not dissimilar to how the Varangian guard was used; charging in where the battle was hardest and functioning as elite shock infantry. However, if they were not needed at the main lines, they would guard the rear of the movement and prevent flanking or ambush by the enemy.

The engineers would sap enemy fortifications, help build field fortifications, try to make the terrain easier to cross, and attempt to make the battlefield as favorable to my army as possible--stakes thrust into the ground to stop cavalry, raised berms, etc. The rest of the army would be CAPABLE of engineering tasks, but the dedicated core of engineers would  make sure that everything was done as professionally as possible; sort of elite shock engineers, shall we say...

 many of the medics would accompany the units into battle, but hang back and remove wounded soldiers rather than engaging the enemy. Soldiers would be treated as effectively and quickly as possible, then transferred back to the safest location in the force for more effective medical care by the other medical staff.

The engineers would not be all that much involved in the actual combat part, but since they would be armed and moderately trained in their weapons' use, they could function as a last-ditch reserve. The medics might do the same, if the situation was really grim.


Officers would lead, rally, command, etc. Whatever it is officers do.LOL

Depending on the situation, the formations and tactics could be very different, but these are the basic methods of my army.

(Not bad for someone who never really studies military strategy, eh? eh??)

These tactics any good, or am I missing some huge overarching fact here?





Edited by TheARRGH - 08-Aug-2008 at 05:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 05:55
Awesome overview. Would you carry wood around in carts and wagons for building projects or would you have a team of men to cut trees on the spot? This could impact your battle plans correct? If you cut wood on the spot and the enemy was fast approaching you may not have time to create cavalry deterrents, defenses etc. If you brought chopped wood in carts then you could plant them much faster. But then you have to deal with the weight of the cart and the animals that have to pull it, oxen, horses, etc. And you have to maintain the cart itself and keep it in good shape.


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 08-Aug-2008 at 06:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheARRGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 06:17
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

  Would you carry wood around in carts and wagons for building projects or would you have a team of men to cut trees on the spot? This could impact your battle plans correct? If you cut wood on the spot and the enemy was fast approaching you may not have time to create cavalry deterrents, defenses etc. If you brought chopped wood in carts then you could plant them much faster.


Depends on the situation.

I'd use carts as long as I could get away with it. If it put too huge a drain my logistical capacity, I could always cut wood--but I'd depend on my reconnaissance staff to figure out how far away the enemy was.

I'm assuming it's temperate terrain similar to parts of Britain or the northwest coast of North America, so trees probably wouldn't be in terribly short supply.


Edited by TheARRGH - 08-Aug-2008 at 06:18
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Thanks for clearing that up. I'd want to continue the conversation but I have to go.
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